What Are the Duties of an MDS Coordinator?

Minimum data set (MDS) coordinators continuously monitor, evaluate, and manage the care given to residents. Read on to learn more about the education requirements and job duties associated with this field. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

MDS Coordinator Job Description

What does an MDS (minimum data set) coordinator do? Also known as resident assessment coordinators and nurse assessment coordinators, MDS coordinators:

  • Assess and evaluate the quality of care being given to long-term care residents
  • Perform the initial interview and assess new residents
  • Develop a care plan that has long-term and short-term goals for improvement
  • Conduct meetings with multidisciplinary treatment teams, caretakers, and families
  • Reach out to specialists within the community to get help in achieving care plan goals

MDS coordinator responsibilities could include preparing and electronically transmitting timely reports to the national Medicare and Medicaid database. Ensuring the accuracy of medical records and coding procedures is essential for a facility to receive proper reimbursement. You will become a residents' rights advocate to ensure that each resident is aware of his or her legal rights. Being able to react appropriately in an emergency situation is also beneficial.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Similar Occupations Director of nurses, medical biller, certified nurse assistant
Key Skills Compassion, emotional stability, patience, and speaking skills
Work Environment Typically full-time (sometimes in shifts of 8+ hours) during the day, evening, and over-night
Required Education Typically a bachelor's or associate's if you're a registered nurse and/or an approved educational program if you're a licensed practical nurse

Professional Training Requirements

To be an MDS coordinator, you must at least be a licensed practical nurse (LPN); many facilities require one be a registered nurse (RN) with some experience, preferably in a long-term care facility. The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) provides specialized training and a national certification exam for the association's Resident Assessment Coordinator Certified (RAC-CT) designation. The training will teach you about care plans, third party reimbursements, and performing assessments; you will take seven core courses and three electives. Many employers now require that MDS nurse coordinators be certified.

Employment Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to July 2019 data from PayScale.com, MDS coordinators earned a median annual wage of $64,370. In general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment growth of 12% for licensed practical nurses and 15% for registered nurses from 2016-2026.

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